Political Science, English, History, Journalism, Open Option, Psychology, Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Economics.
The PLUS (Public Leadership for Undergraduate Students) learning community develops skills essential for leadership in public service through knowledge about the public sector and developing strong written, oral, visual, and electronic communication skills. Students will participate in linked assignments between an introductory Political Science course (POL S 111) on American government and an English writing course (ENGL 250), and will share small-group experiences including field trips to public sector agencies, discussions of current events and literature related to public service, and presentations by student support staff focused on student success, health, and resiliency.
Students will have an opportunity to register for this learning community during orientation and class registration times.
This learning community is available for Aerospace Enginering (Aer E) students who have completed Engl 250. Students in this learning community will enroll in Aer E focused sections of Engl 314 (Technical Communication). By enrolling in the learning community linked sections of Engl 314, students will learn technical communication focused on the types of reports, documentation, and presentations that they will be using in upper level Aer E courses and within the aerospace engineering industry.
To register for this learning community, students should work with their academic advisor.
This learning community is for new Linguistics majors as well as any student who is interested in language and how it works, seeking especially students in World Languages and Cultures, International Studies, U.S. Latinx Studies, Computer Science, Software Engineering, Data Science, and Open Option.
The Science of Language Learning Community is a non-residential learning community for students who are interested in languages, linguistics, and language science. The goals of SOL are to foster community among undergraduate linguists, develop critical thinking skills around language, broaden linguistic understanding of language as a science, and to help students become aware of possible future directions in these fields. As part of SOL, students will take three linked courses together: LING/WLC 119 Introduction to World Languages, ENGL 214 Introduction to Technical Communication, and LING 101 Introduction to the Study of Linguistics. SOL fulfills multiple LAS requirements including up to 6 credits towards Arts and Humanities requirements as well as International Perspectives.
New students will have an opportunity to register for this learning community during orientation and class registration. Transfers and Change of majors can sign up during fall class registration by contacting the coordinator.
All multicultural students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are eligible.
The FOCUS Learning Community is a multicultural peer mentorship program that is designed to support incoming students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The program provides academic, social, and professional connections to aid in the successful transition to college. Students will participate in enriching activities that will help them develop a strong sense of community.
Benefits of FOCUS
Receive one-on-one guidance from a peer mentor
Successfully navigate your first-year experience
Increased opportunity for academic success
Attend fun monthly social events to build community and strong connections
Develop a strong network of peers to support you through your academic journey
No residential options are affiliated with the program.
Contact Jahmai Fisher, firstname.lastname@example.org, to learn more about the program and how to get involved.
"The best part of being in a learning community is the mentor/mentee connection that you can make and getting to know other students in the same boat as you." - College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student
”Students who join learning communities have a special opportunity to connect with classmates---form study groups, serve as sounding boards for one another, and even develop lasting friendships throughout their four years at ISU. Seeing the same familiar faces in two classes every week creates a comfort level many college first-years don't experience, and finding comfort in the classroom setting inevitably leads to smoother learning and more permanent retention of vital communication skills that translate to the workplace."
Majors eligible to join
Students of any major (including Open Option) who register for English 214 and English 250.
Students will learn about the background, practical application of, techniques of, and demand for technical writing and web design/usability in the U.S. and worldwide. Through written, oral, visual, and electronic communication skills, they will complete summaries and rhetorical analyses related to topics in technical communication. They will also delve into visual website design and rhetoric and learn to analyze and evaluate visuals both in terms of their messages and in their creation as TComm deliverables. Finally, they will master argumentation, acting as mediators in debates centered around technology, its use/misuse in the workplace, and its presentation in writing and multimedia. Because all students enrolled in this section of English 250 will also be taking the same section of English 214, this will encourage a sense of community and create shared learning opportunities. Within this single learning community, students can satisfy an Arts and Humanities requirement and an ISUComm Foundations requirement! Students will also gain a greater understanding of technical communications as a field, potentially adding it as a major, second major, or minor. Tech Comm was recently rated the 14th best job in the U.S. by Career Cast and other sources, meaning that majors in English and related fields are becoming more and more lucrative as the demand for strong communicators rises!
Students will have the opportunity to register for this learning community during spring registration and June Orientation.
Primarily for Biology and Genetics majors, but open to all students interested in exploring careers in the life sciences, including Biochemistry, Environmental Science, and Open Option.
BIOL/GEN113X is taught in the Spring to students in their first year at ISU (freshmen or transfer students).
BIOL/GEN114X is taught in the Fall to students in their second year at ISU (sophomores or recent transfer students).
Note: students are not required to have taken BIOL/GEN113X in order to enroll in BIOL/GEN114X.
Do you want to:
Get to know new friends in a small classroom setting (40 students or less) while exploring careers in the life sciences?
Make connections with peer mentors who are knowledgeable and who remember what it was like to be new at Iowa State?
Develop academic and professional skills that will enable a successful Iowa State experience now and launch you into your future?
Have the ability to shape your learning community experiences based on your own interests and goals?
Participate in small group activities that engage you with students and professionals who are already pursuing careers that interest you?
You can achieve all these things and more by meeting for just two hours per week throughout the spring and/or fall semester in these low-effort, high-reward, one-credit, pass/not pass (P/NP) courses!
BIOL/GEN113X – 1cr, P/NP, Spring:
This course will help you discover where your interests lie within the life sciences, with a particular focus on Biology and Genetics. It will provide you with opportunities to explore different career paths through interactions with more senior students, faculty, and leaders outside academia. Activities will include workshops to develop professional skills, visits to labs on campus and conversations with the faculty, graduate students, and staff, and field trips to facilities both on and off campus (e.g. the ISU Research Park). It is also a great way to find study buddies for first-year life sciences courses and create long-lasting connections with other students who share similar interests with you.
BIOL/GEN114X – 1cr, P/NP, Fall:
This course is split into four sections, each of which gives students the opportunity to explore and get hands-on experience in a specific topic within the life sciences. Options include:
Save Planet Earth. An environmentally-themed section where students learn and connect via hands-on sustainability and conservation projects, as well as field trips to research sites around Ames.
Helping People: The Health Care Career Spectrum. Learn about the myriad of healthcare-related career options and meet with practicing professionals.
Exploring the Secret Life of Cells. Learn how basic cell biology research in different organisms can help us improve our world in areas such as medicine, agriculture, and technology. Experiences include hands-on lab activities and visits to research labs around campus.
Decoding the Genetic Mechanisms of Metabolism and Aging. Obtain authentic research experience and learning opportunities using cutting-edge genetic and cell biology approaches. Interrogate cellular metabolism, aging, and age-related diseases.
Bonus: Join study teams for Principles of Genetics and Organic Chemistry I
Students will have an opportunity to register for this learning community during class registration.
Incoming students majoring in Physics and Astronomy.
Studying physics is both exciting and intellectually challenging. The Physics and Astronomy Department is at the forefront of figuring out how the universe works, with faculty and students engaged in revealing the core mechanisms of biological systems, to the understanding the most explosive events in the life and death of stars. Our goals for physics undergraduates is that they develop a firm understanding of physics through their course-work, student research, field trips, and meeting with visiting scientists. To ensure students are welcomed into the department’s intellectual life, we have created a Physics + Astronomy Learning Community. The Learning Community is a place where beginning students can discuss physics, both current research topics as well as their coursework, interact socially with faculty, partner with peer mentors who can lend advice, and form strong bonds of friendship with like-minded physics students on field trips to regional national labs. The Learning Community is centered around Phys 199 “An Introduction to Physics” and members of the LC will be in the same section of their calculus course so they can build strong connections between their mathematical skills and physics.
"Esprit de Corps" definition: devotion to one's society, fraternity, team-spirit, fellow-feeling. This special undergraduate program will give you the opportunity to explore a music major in a uniquely supportive environment with mentoring from successful upper classmen, meetings with professors outside of class, and a comprehensive orientation program. You will have access to free tickets to attend professional concerts at Stephens Auditorium and other regional theatres and will find a close-knit support group to help you with such courses as music theory, music history, ear-training and sight-singing.
Eligible students should notify the Music Office (294-3831) or the Learning Community Coordinator.
“The learning community not only provided me with a family, but also gave me the courage to talk to professors more and to branch out more with the different subjects of mathematics,” Kelsey Christensen
Majors eligible to join
Mathematics, Statistics, and Actuarial Science.
Mathematics and Statistics Learning Community members will work to build community by taking classes together, forming study partnerships, and getting to know one another via supplemental activities.
This learning community will provide supplementary activities outside class aimed at easing the transition to campus, exploring campus resources, investigating major-related organizations, interacting with university faculty and staff members as well as opportunities to meet professionals visiting from other mathematics and statistics institutions and organizations.
As the group matures, students may further develop their professional skills by organizing events for their peers to attend or by engaging in service projects.
Members will experience educational, professional, service-related, and social benefits.
First year students who have declared their primary major as statistics or mathematics will automatically be signed up in the learning community. Transfer students in mathematics and statistics and first semester freshmen in LAS open option may sign up for the learning community during orientation.
Our learning community was established in fall 2004 to foster relationships, provide academic support for incoming freshmen wishing to major in Computer Science, and to help new students transition into a new environment and lifestyle. The first-year courses (Com S 227 and 228) have relatively large enrollments and our learning community provides a level of interaction between students that is not always possible in the classroom. We do this by having students take their first programming, math, and orientation course in a small cohort of students, and work with a peer mentor who is an upper-level student in Computer Science.
Many students come to the computer science major with few clear ideas about what it means to be a computer scientist, while others have taken programming courses in high school and explored computer science on their own. Some students are intimidated by the experience level of others, while some are looking for greater challenges. By living in close proximity to one another, friendships can form despite differences in skill levels, as those differences diminish throughout the school year. The learning community sponsors social and informative events in and outside the orientation class where peer mentors help build a sense of community, become a resource for students, review current topics, provide guidance on homework, and discuss both elementary and advanced computer science topics.
The Computer Science Learning Community offers an residence hall opportunity in Friley and Helser Halls. This allows students to live, study, and socialize together.
To sign up for our residential learning community simply click on the “Learning Community” tab when filling out your Department of Residence contract on AccessPlus. You can go in and update or change your learning community preference information at any time up until the deadline without losing your “priority date.” Sign up for the learning community course(s) takes place at summer orientation.